Monday, January 10, 2011

Harvey Might be the Man for Me

Quote of the blog:

Pei: Tell me about your date.
Brook tells.
Pei: Hmmm. He doesn't sound like your Mr. Rabbit to me.


This past August, after I finished my work in Oxford, I took a trip to Stockholm. The plan was to meet my friend Jason, my summer European travel buddy, at Rygerfjord Hotel (a boat hotel!). I arrived midday and stowed my things in our cabin: a room with two fold down bunks and walls just inches out of reach when I stretched my arms fully to the sides. Jason would arrive from Germany around 7:30pm. I explored the ship and then wandered the streets of Södermalm, the island where the hotel was docked. I got back around 7:15pm and left a Clementine and a note on the top bunk telling Jason to come up to the top deck when he arrived.

I sat at one of the tables with my back against the boat and relaxed. It was nice to decompress (not decompose like I accidentally said one time). The travel guide I pulled from my bag had almost been The Abba Guide to Stockholm (“The book ABBA fans all over the world have been waiting for!”). Traveling under the Swedish band's guidance was tempting and I debated at Blackwell in Oxford for a good twenty minutes before selecting the more updated, practical, and smaller Lonely Planet book.

I wrote in my journal, read my Stockholm guide and gazed across the water and watched the sky turn pink as the sun gently set behind the city spires. It was almost 10:00 pm. Where was Jason? Somewhere in Germany was all I knew. I realized that we hadn’t exchanged flight information and I wasn’t even sure where in Germany he was. I was just starting to really worry when he arrived at 10:30pm. His flight from Bremen and the airport shuttle to Stockholm had both been delayed.

I was falling asleep on my bunk as Jason regaled me with his adventures in Bremen. He showed me the children’s book about The Bremen Musicians he purchased. I loved that story growing up! I drifted to sleep as I listened as Jason talked about Germany. I hadn’t realized I had fallen asleep until I said something out loud I didn’t mean to. It was one of those, “was that my outside voice?” moments. I wanted to explain myself but fell back asleep.

In the morning, I asked Jason if I had said something embarrassing the night before. He started laughing and told me what I said. Apparently shortly after I dozed off, I announced in this happy, breathless, and tired voice, “I’m getting married.”

“What?” Jason asked.

I explained, swooning, “I met a rabbit.”

Jason, laughing, clarified, “You’re getting married to a rabbit?

I almost woke up only long enough to explain, “Oh, I was dreaming about Beatrix Potter…” before falling back asleep.

I finished the announcement: “We’re going to have lots of babies.”

For the next few days, any time we’d see a picture of a rabbit – or when we saw a live one – Jason would start laughing and elbow me. “Eh? Eh?” Once, in an art store, we looked at school paintings that had hung in classrooms around Sweden. The cashier showed us one that depicted a farm scene. A rabbit scurried across the road in front of a barn. Jason considered the poster and then told the woman, “Brook would like this one. She loves rabbits.” The woman looked slightly confused but turned to me and politely inquired, “Oh? You do?” Jason snickered and I blushed and stammered a response.

For Christmas my roommate Gaby commemorated the experience in a picture for me.

The story has provided ample fodder for teasing. And I’ve had more than one reminder that 2011 is the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. We’ll just have to see what the year brings but I don’t put too much stock in dreams – especially the dreams of someone who dreamt she was a rabbit in a Beatrix Potter cartoon. But if I ever introduce you to my man Harvey, you'll know not to ask.


  1. This made my day. Thanks Brook. :D

  2. Oh the adventures with Jason. I'm glad he made it that night to hear your announcement and possible prophecy? ha ha

  3. Hahaha! I love you to death! Thanks for the laugh!

  4. I don't know Brook.... two posts in a row about rabbits. Sounds to me like you're a little rabbit crazy. So I guess congrats are in order on your upcoming nuptials.